Tuesday February 1st 2022         The WESSEX League – Premier Division 


plated at Westwood Park                   Kick Off – 19:45               Attendance – 163

Referee :- Krasimir Petrov                              Assistants – Ben Orton & Chris Cass

The first day of February brought third placed Baffins Milton Rovers over from Portsmouth to Westwood Park, the home 0f the Yachtsmen. High flying Baffins came into the game on the back of two defeats, 4 – 5 at home to Fareham Town and a 0 – 3 reverse at Portland United whilst the home side remained winless since December 11th when they beat Alton and gad picked up just one point in the seven games played. Baffins also had two familiar faces in their starting XI as former Cowes players Ed Sanders and Alex Przespolewski returned to Westwood. Cowes made five changes to the side defeated at Shaftesbury, Jez Conway(injured), Ji Nash, Aedan Coode and Joe Adams dropping to the bench whilst Mitchell Ricketts was missing. In came Jason Malcolmson, James Flux, Gareth Bricknell, John McKie and Jack Barsdell, hopefully to give a bit more experience and bite to the team.

Team:- Edward HATT, Conor WHITE, Jason MALCOLMSON, Henry WEST, Jake WATSON, James FLUX, Finley PHILLIPS (c) (90), Jimmy MUMFORD (74), Gareth BRICKNELL, John McKIE, Jack BARSDELL (63)

Subs:- Ji NASH (63), Joseph ADAMS (74), George HOLMES (90) Unused – Aedan COODE, Max COSHELL.

Once again a slow start to the game with the first effort at goal coming in the 123th minute. A through ball by Jack Barsdell found Gareth Bricknell bearing down on goal but Charles Searle did well to block with his feet before Finley Phillips strike blocked by a defender. On 17 minutes a James Flux ball over the Baffins defence saw John McKie cross into the box from the bye line but Charles Searle again saved low down. Westwood went wild in the 25th minute as Cowes took the lead when Jack Barsdell sent in a low cross around the six yard line which the keeper could not save and FINLEY PHILLIPS slotted the ball into the Baffins net. Max Draper was shown a yellow card following a disagreement with the Referee just past the half hour mark. Surprisingly the visitors seemed unable to respond in any way to going behind so the Islanders went into the break a goal to the good. H-t 1 – 0 

Surely Baffins would put up a bit of a fight in the second half? Well just three minutes into the second period Jason Parish fired low into the side netting. However it was at the other end that Baffins had a great effect when on 57 minutes a long clearance from Cowes saw  Lee Molyneaux send a back header to his keeper not knowing that Cowes’s top scorer, JOHN McKIE, was in fact in the perfect position to get the ball move to the edge of the box before blasting the ball past the helpless Charlie Searle into the goal and double the home sides lead. a couple of minutes later James Flux was fouled on the half way line but the Referee played the advantage as John McKie was free to run at their defence which he did and saw his cross towards Gareth Bricknell just cleared by a defender in front of the Cowes man. A rare Baffins attack saw George Britton fire at Ed Hatt who saved easily. Jack Barsdell was replaced by Ji Nash for the home side in the 63rd minute. A Baffins free kick from the Cowes left saw Jason Parish head into the arms of Ed Hatt. The visiting Management then made three substitutions in the 67th minute as George Britton, Jason Parish and Tommy Scutt were hauled off with Oscar Johnston, Stan Bridgman and Miles Everett coming on to try a liven things up for the Portsmouth outfit, but it was not to be as they huffed and puffed but could not blow the Cowes fortress down. Joe Adams replaced Jimmy Mumford for the final 15 minutes to add a bit more steel to the midfield. Four minutes later again James Flux was fouled near the half way line earning Baffins’ James Cowan a yellow card. Miles Everett threw the ball at the stricken Cowes player suggesting he was faking injury, an action that was clear to see by all bar the Referee or his near side Assistant, but off course when Joe Adams appeared to throw the ball back at the Baffins player this was seen by the Referee who issued the Cowes player with a yellow card. Well what a surprise that was!!! Neither keeper was really troubled in the final minutes of the game. George Holes came on for Finley Phillips in the last minute of normal time. Then in injury time both Harry Sargeant and Alex Przespolewski were yellow carded for the visitors as Cowes held on to claim their first victory over Baffins since the Pompey side entered the league and send most of the 163 crowd home very happy indeed.